Bank of Canada Releases Shortlist of 8 Canadians Who Could Be on $5 Bill

Includes 4 Indigenous Nominees

From over 600 eligible nominations, the Bank of Canada has selected 8 candidates to grace the next $5 bill.

They are (in alphabetical order):

  • Pitseolak Ashoona: [c. 1904-1908]–1983 An Inuk Canadian artist who was elected to the Royal Canadian Academy of Art and received the Order of Canada.
  • Robertine Barry (“Françoise”): 1863–1910 A journalist and publisher from Quebec
  • Binaaswi (Francis Pegahmagabow): 1888–1952 The most highly decorated Indigenous soldier in Canada; politician and activist.
  • Won Alexander Cumyow: 1861–1955 A Chinese Canadian public servant and community leader
  • Terry Fox: 1958–1981 A  Canadian athlete, humanitarian, and cancer research activist.
  • Lotta Hitschmanova: 1909–1990 PhD Helped to found the Unitarian Service Committee of Canada (now called SeedChange), an international development organization.
  • Isapo-muxika (Crowfoot): c. 1830–1890  A Siksika chief and diplomat who negotiated with the federal government on behalf of the Blackfoot Confederacy
  • Onondeyoh (Frederick Ogilvie Loft): 1861–1934 Mohawk chief, activist, war veteran, reporter, author and lumberman; Mohawk chief, activist, war veteran, reporter, author and lumberman


The guiding principles for choosing the shortlist were:

  • Positive change: The shortlisted nominees should have changed Canada and Canadians for the better.
  • National icon: Their impact is known nationally across Canada.
  • Universality: They have had an impact in Canada and this impact should reflect Canadian values.
  • Uniqueness: They are uniquely Canadian and known beyond their local/regional communities.
  • Relevancy: They had an impact that is relevant today.

RELATED: Canadian Ten Dollar Bill Wins Top Design Award

Like the recent redesign of the $10 bill, the new $5 bill will be vertical. Sir Wilfrid Laurier, Canada’s first francophone prime minister, who is currently on the $5 bill, will be featured on a higher value note like the $50 or $100. It will take a while before the new $5 bill is released but the Minister of Finance will announce in early 2021 the next portrait subject of the $5 bank note.